The Bluecoat Display Centre has recently held the first year of the Julia Carter Preston Prize, a biennial exhibition prize featuring six talented ceramicists. Comprised of artists from across the UK, the exhibition showcases the gifts of the artists, who work in varying styles. The combination of traditional and innovative uses of ceramics makes for an interesting exhibition, with surely everyone finding art that appeals to them within the display.
The winner of the Julia Carter Preston Prize 2016 is Lanty Ball. Lanty Ball is a 23 year old ceramicist based in the North West of England, studying an MA in Ceramics at UCLan. This artist has a distinct style, with elegantly crafted pieces that demonstrate a minimalist palette and form. The spiked surfaces of the ceramics ensure that the pieces have somewhat of a dangerous edge to their beauty – a captivating notion. Both practical and aesthetically pleasing, I am sure that Lanty Ball will become a more recognisable name in the near future.
Other notable artists featured in the exhibition are Jane King, Jo Taylor, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Susan Nemeth and Yasmin Lennon-Chong. Though these ceramicists did not win the Julia Carter Preston Prize, there is still a chance for them to win the Peoples’ Prize. The winner of this prize will go on to have a window display in the Bluecoat Display Centre. Whether it is the obscure forms that Jane King crafts that catch your eye, Jo Taylor’s quintessentially Liverpudlian pieces, the fairy-tale scenes depicted in Malene Hartmann Rasmussen’s work, Susan Nemeth’s sculptural forms or the ceramic tiles crafted by Yasmin Lennon-Chong, make sure to cast your vote. One thing is for certain; all of the ceramicists featured are worthy of the People’s Prize, having displayed excellent skill and passion for their craft.
I look forward to seeing who will be shortlisted in two years’ time for the next Julia Carter Preston Prize. The exhibition prize is a wonderful opportunity for emerging ceramicists, demonstrating the talents and dedication of the artists.